West Ham – Southampton is all about one thing: can the Hammers get the point they need to seal sixth place and a Europa League group stage spot on Sunday (start time 11am ET online via Peacock Premium)?
David Moyes’ side need just a draw to finish sixth and finish their incredible season by sealing a group stage spot in the Europa League for next season. After they won at West Brom in midweek and Tottenham slipped up, the Hammers know a draw at home in front of 10,000 fans will secure them sixth and even if they lose and Tottenham win they will finish seventh and be competing in the Europa Conference League next season.
Barring an unlikely goal difference swing and a win from Everton at Manchester City, West Ham are essentially guaranteed European qualification. After being relegation candidates at the start of the season, that is a remarkable achievement from Moyes who has rolled back the years, with Soucek, Antonio and then Lingard delivering the attacking prowess to his well-drilled machine. What a season for the east London club.
As for Southampton, their season has fizzled out. For a time they sat top of the Premier League table in November and were only outside of the top four on goal difference in January, but then injuries and bad luck arrived. Saints’ defending has also been woeful in the second half of the campaign, but injuries to Danny Ings, Oriol Romeu, Jannik Vestergaard and many others have hit them hard. Still, they could finish as high as 12th with a win on the final day and after a run to the FA Cup semifinal, all in all, that’s about as good of a season as Hasenhuttl could have expected. But given the fact they were pushing for European action for the first half of the season, there will be a feeling of ‘what if’ from this Southampton squad.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of West Ham – Southampton.
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West Ham injuries
West Ham have star goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski fit after he suffered an injury in the warm up before the last game at West Brom and missed out. Arthur Masuaku and Manuel Lanzini miss out after knee and thigh injuries respectively.
Fabianski starts 👊
— West Ham United (@WestHam) May 23, 2021
Southampton have Oriol Romeu on the bench as he returns from a long-term ankle issue, while Ryan Bertrand and Will Smallbone remain out. Che Adams is also out after coming off at half time against Leeds last time out with a groin injury.
For one final time this season 👊
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) May 23, 2021
Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)
West Ham are the big favorites at -143, while Southampton are +350 to win. The draw is +290.
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I think this game will be a tight, tense clash and West Ham will get the point they need to seal a sixth place finish. West Ham 1-1 Southampton.
How to watch, stream and start time
Kick off: 11ma ET, Sunday
TV Channel: Peacock Premium
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium